Looking for a simple snack to eat during halftime today, Robert and I settled on fish tacos. But of course, nothing is ever simple with me. Rather than waste my money on a 200-pack of stale grocery store corn tortillas, I decided to whip up my own. Corn tortillas are actually pretty easy to make. If you have a tortilla press, they are even easier. I don’t plan on making enough tortillas in my life to justify buying (and finding room for) a tortilla press so I would be rolling my tortillas by hand, a slightly daunting task. Fortunately, I only needed enough for a few fish tacos.

I picked up a small bag of Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina. It’s probably sacrilegious to use masa from Oregon but, again, I really don’t need a 10-pound bag of Mexican masa (even if it is the same price as Bob’s Red Mill.) To make tortilla dough, you simply mix two parts masa to one part water. Then, you form the dough into balls, roll the balls out into thin disks and cook them in an ungreased skillet until browned and pliable. To keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, many recipes will tell you to put it between two sheets of plastic wrap. People who make tortillas often usually use cut up pieces of ziploc bag instead – the ziploc bag is sturdier than plastic wrap and lends more support to the fragile tortilla dough. I didn’t feel like wasting a bunch of ziploc bags so I used a combination of parchment on the bottom and plastic wrap on top. The parchment was supportive while the plastic wrap allowed me to see what I was doing. I was able to use the same piece of parchment over and over, making it a much less wasteful process. My other trick was to use the bottom of a heavy pan to press my dough balls flat (acting as sort of a makeshift tortilla press.) This gave the tortillas a perfect round shape. Then, I used a rolling pin to get them nice and thin.

The tortillas were awesome! So much better than store bought. They were a little thick and crispy in some spots but, surprisingly, they didn’t break apart at all (after browning in the skillet, I steamed them briefly in the microwave to soften them up.) I filled the tacos with blackened halibut, lime-marinated cabbage, chipotle crema and sliced avocado. The filling was good, but the fresh, flavorful tortillas were what really made this dish. I may have spent the whole first half of the game in the kitchen making tortillas, but these delicious halftime tacos were totally worth the effort!


  1. Thank you for making the tortilla so simple and doable. For some reason I’ve made it out to be quite an ordeal in my head. Now I feel like I could do it myself, no problem.


    Comment by Cera — February 10, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

  2. Hi Vicky. Thanks for the nice comments! I too thought that making my own tortillas would be some huge ordeal. It takes a bit of extra effort for sure, but there really isn’t anything complicated or overly difficult about it. Now, that I’ve tried my own, I’m not sure I can ever go back to store-bought! If you end up making some, let me know how they turn out.


    Comment by elliemay — February 15, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

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